The ŠKODA story began not on four wheels, but two: a bicycle called the ‘Slavia’. Our founders, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, built it in 1895. Besides their first names and a love for cycling, they had another thing in common: a strong inventive spirit.
From humble beginnings, the two friends went on to build some of the world’s formative motorcycles, which were soon winning races and breaking speed records. Encouraged by this success, they graduated to four wheels, and with the ‘Voiturette A’started an automotive lineage that makes ŠKODA one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world.
In 1925, Laurin & Klement merges with Škoda Works of Pilsen and went on to achieve breakthrough success with the ŠKODA Popular. Through the entire 20th century, encompassing two World Wars and a socialist-era planned economy, the commitment from ŠKODA to building high-quality cars didn’t waver. A smooth transition to become part of the Volkswagen group in 1991 only reinforced another commitment: to sustain the inventive spirit that began well over a century ago